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Michael Clarke's major gripe with 'horrible' Aussie Test dilemma

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Michael Clarke (pictured left) talking to batsman David Warner (pictured right) before a match.
Michael Clarke (pictured left) has hit out how David Warner's (pictured right) opening partner for the series against India has played out in the public domain. (Getty Images)

Former Aussie captain Michael Clarke has hit out at the way the decision on who will partner David Warner in the up-coming series against India has taken place in public.

Joe Burns and Will Pucovski are thought to be fighting for one spot in Australia’s XI, with incumbent opener Burns hoping to retain his spot despite the incredible Sheffield Shield form of Pucovski.

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Last week Ponting said he was “surprised” to hear chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns say he would get Warner’s opinion about whether Burns or Pucovski should get the nod.

And on Sunday fellow former Test captain Chappell also criticised the idea.

Warner then said he thought Burns had done enough to retain his spot as opener, but would also welcome Pucovski.

Now Clarke has weighed-in and claimed all these headlines wouldn’t be filling young Pucovski with confidence.

“How does Will Pucovski feel sitting on the sideline reading this in the paper? If he does get nod, he’s walking out to bat with David Warner and he’s reading a headline — if you read the article it’s very different to the headline,” Clarke said on Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.

“David Warner doesn’t sit there and say ‘I want Joe Burns, I don’t want Will’ but if you read the headline that’s how it comes across.”

Australian batsman Joe Burns (pictured left) celebrates his maiden test century with opening partner David Warner (pictured right) as they walk off due to weather.
Australian batsman Joe Burns (pictured left) celebrates his maiden test century with opening partner David Warner (pictured right) as they walk off due to weather. (REUTERS/Patrick Hamilton)

Clarke didn’t have an issue with Warner’s comments, but doubled down that he wasn’t a selector.

“So unless Will Pucovski is reading every word, he’s going to think ‘David doesn’t want to open the batting with me, he wants to open with Joe Burns’. So it’s a horrible position for everyone to be in,” Clarke added.

“His [Warner’s] comments are fine. He respects Joe Burns, he enjoys batting with Joe Burns, he’s good friends with Joe Burns, but he’s not a selector.”

Clarke went on to suggest, after Pucovski’s Sheffield Shield form, if Burns doesn’t outperform him in the Australia A game he shouldn’t retain his spot.

Burns gets vote of approval from Tim Paine

Last week captain Tim Paine said he expects Burns to be retained, suggesting the opener’s recent slump should not overshadow his Test record.

Pucovski demanded selection in Australia's 17-man squad for the four-Test series, having become just the eighth player to score consecutive double-centuries in the Sheffield Shield.

Former captains Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor, Michael Clarke and Kim Hughes have called for Pucovski to debut in light of his sparkling form and the struggles of Burns, who managed just 57 runs from five knocks in the Shield hub.

Paine is not a selector but made it clear he believes Burns should not be dropped.

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